Thursday, May 11, 2017

#ReadaDessen + Giveaway: JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

As all of us Sarah Dessen readers are preparing for her newest novel thats coming out on June 6th, we're teleporting back to revisit some of our favorite stories! 

JUST LISTEN came out just before I graduating high school back in 2006 (oh my - not sure if I should admit that lol), and it has me wanting to listen to a few of my favorite hits that were released that year.

Here's were some of my favorite songs I listened to back in 2006:

  • SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
  • So Sick by Neyo
  • Move Along by All American Rejects
  • Stickwityou by Pussycat Dolls
  • Show Stopper by Danity Kane
  • Too Little Too Late by Jojo
  • My Love by Justin Timberlake
I could definitely go on with that list... but as I'm bringing back the memories, it's making me realize how long ago 2006 was! 

What were some of your favorite songs that were release back in 2006?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Blog Tour: Review, Pinterest Board, Giveaway: ALEX AND ELIZA by Melissa De La Cruz

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York. 

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball. 

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history. 

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. 

I'm going to be honest:
I have never listened to the Hamilton soundtrack, seen the Hamilton Broadway Show, or really know anything about Hamilton. Oh, and did I mention that history wasn't my favorite in high school either? 
With those reasons being said,  you wouldn't think this book would be meant for me. BUT, I think all of those reasons may have been why I was so intrigued with getting started with this book! With the pressure off from high school history, and my excitement to explore peaking at a new level, it was time to dive right on into Alex and Eliza. 

I've always been so curious about the fad of Hamilton, but never really had the time to truly check it out until now. Plus, I'm a sucker for a good love story.

Starting out Alex and Eliza, I could tell Melissa De La Cruz really did some major research with this one. I was very pleased with the old-fashioned writing style as well that really gave you the feel of being back in the late 1700's! It gave the novel that authentic feel, with just a bit of a modern touch.
Not forgetting to mention the many dresses and wigs! Being a girl who loved dressing up when she was younger (who am I kidding, I still do.... lol), the description of the dress styles and wigs had me reading with heart eyes.  I relished in those minor details, and a big part of me wished I was born back in their time!

As for the love story aspect of this book, it was lacking in some areas. I think I was caught up in all of the history within this book, that I found myself wanting to know more about the historical facts rather than pay attention to the romance between Alex and Eliza. I did find it to be a bit slow in some areas, and it really just left me with wanting "more" from both of them.

All in all, I think this book was a great, quick and easy read! 
If you're looking for a stand alone book to read in between series, this may be one to pick up if you're interested in history and romance. 
I also want to note that Hamilton knowledge isn't necessary when reading, which was nice since I had no idea what I was getting myself into!!

Have you picked up this book yet?? If so, leave a comment with what you thought of the book!

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times, USA TodayWall Street JournalLos Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels. Her Blue Bloods series has sold over three million copies, and the Witches of East End series became an hour-long television drama on the Lifetime network.


Week One:
March 27 – Ex Libris – Top 10 Moments from A&E
March 28 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Eliza’s Legacy
March 29 – The Paige-Turner – Review + Favorite Quotes
March 30 – YA Bibliophile – A&E’s Love Letters
March 31 – Bookiemoji – Review

Week Two:
April 3 – The Book Nut – Playlist
April 4 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
April 5 – The Page Turners Blog – Review
April 6 – Fiktshun – Top 10 Reasons to Adore A&E
April 7 – A Page with a View – Review

Week Three:
April 8 – Twirling Pages – Review
April 11 – Mundie Moms – Review
April 12 – Fiction Fare – Review
April 13 – What Sarah Read – Review + Mood Board
April 14 – YA Wednesdays – A&E Fashion History

Week Four:
April 17 – The Fandom – Modernizing Hamilton Characters
April 18 – Hollywood the Write Way – Review
April 19 – Cracking the Cover – How A&E Have Shaped Our Lives

April 20 – Oh the Book Feels – Review + Pinterest Board
April 21 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Blog Tour + Giveaway: GIVEN TO THE SEA (Given Duet #1) by Mindy McGinnis

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given. 

Publisher: Putnam's Childrens
Pub Date: April 11th 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Release Day Blitz + GIVEAWAY: THE GLITTERING COURT in Paperback by Richelle Mead

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Monday, February 27, 2017

Author Interview + Giveaway: THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston

 Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her place in her father's war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon s family might be her only hope of survival. 

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.

  1. In your own words, can you tell us about The Valiant? 
    At its heart, The Valiant is the story of a girl who struggles to achieve her dreams in the shadow of her older sister’s legacy—but is forced to go about facing that struggle in ways she could never have imagined. With the added bonus of swords, battle kilts, deadly arena fights and a sexy legionnaire!
  2. Did anything in particular inspire you to write this Historical Fiction?
    I’ve always been fascinated with ancient civilizations and cultures—particularly Celtic and Classical—but it was really some recent archaeological discoveries, along the reexamination of already-discovered artifacts, focusing new attention on the potential realities of female gladiators that really sparked my imagination with this story.
  3. We're introduced to a lot of amazing characters! Could you tell us a little about who we will meet? Any favorites?
Ha! I hate playing favorites—the other characters always make you pay for it! But, along with Fallon and her fellow gladiatrices (both friend and foe), I will say that I had a ton of fun writing scenes with some actual historical figures who make appearances in the story. It’s always an intriguing challenge to take the characters that are purely constructs of your imagination and introduce them to elements of the story that have tangible roots in reality.
  1. Sisterhood plays a huge part in this book. Did you base any of the characters off of people you know personally? 
    I generally don’t base characters off people I know in real life, and I don’t have any biological sisters, but I do have some amazing female friends I would call sisters (as I’m raiding their closets in true sisterly fashion!) and those relationships resonate in The Valiant, I think. I also have girlfriends who are amazing stunt-fighters and to say that I based certain aspects of Fallon & Co. off those amazing kick-butt ladies would not exactly be a stretch.
  2. If you could choose one quote to share from the book, what would it be? 
    Hmm… How about: “Uri, vinciri, verberari, ferroque necari!”  *evil grin*
  3. Are you working on any other projects?
I am! In fact, I’m currently working on the sequel to The Valiant! It’s called The Defiant and I’m insanely excited about it!! You can read about the deal announcement for it here:

Just a few fun questions! 
  1. Which Hogwarts House would Fallon be sorted into? 
    Gryffindor, I’m pretty sure, with maybe a smidgen of Ravenclaw! (Ravens, of course, being sacred to Fallon’s goddess, The Morrigan!)
  2. What would be your weapon of choice going into a battle? 
Last time I answered this question, I fought Retiarius-style. Think I’ll go with chariot and spear this time. Y’know, switch it up a little. Also – horsies!!

Lesley Livingston is the author of Once Every Never, winner of the inaugural Copper Cylinder Award and shortlisted for the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the BC Stellar Book Award. She is also the author of the Wondrous Strange and Starling trilogies. She lives in Toronto. 

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 13, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 13, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 15, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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